American Airlines Eyes New Zealand Route

Addition of an Auckland flight would end Air New Zealand exclusive By: Kenneth Shapiro
American Airlines might soon offer a New Zealand flight. // © 2015 iStock
American Airlines might soon offer a New Zealand flight. // © 2015 iStock

The Details

American Airlines

American Airlines and Qantas Airways have announced a significant expansion of flights across the Pacific, as well as opened up the possibility of routes to and from the U.S. and New Zealand, according an article in The New Zealand Herald.

Why It Matters:
Air New Zealand has held a monopoly on direct flights to and from New Zealand and the U.S. since Qantas withdrew from its Auckland-Los Angeles route in 2012. American and Qantas recently announced a plan to expand their joint business, including daily nonstop flights between Los Angeles International Airport and Sydney Airport. The newspaper article reports that the two airlines will further lodge an application with regulators in New Zealand for permission to operate transpacific services to and from Auckland and the U.S.

Fast Facts:
- In December 2014, American announced an investment of more than $2 billion in the customer experience.

- American’s new service between LAX and Sydney will be operated by Boeing 777-300ER planes. The aircraft’s products and services feature all-aisle access, fully lie-flat seats and a walk-up bar in the premium cabins. All seats feature personal, in-seat entertainment screens with up to 250 movies, over 180 television programs and more than 350 audio selections, international Wi-Fi capability, and universal AC power outlets and USB ports.

What They Are Saying:
“It’s certainly a market that Qantas and American are interested in [in] the context of the partnership and that’s why we’ll be lodging with the New Zealand Ministry of Transport for regulatory approval to serve the market at some point,” a Qantas spokesman said.

“Qantas has been a fantastic partner through Oneworld and our joint business relationship, and strengthening those ties has provided us with a solid foundation to introduce American-operated flights into the Australian region,” said Doug Parker, chairman and CEO of American Airlines. “Our customers have asked us to broaden our reach to important business destinations across the Pacific, and flying our flagship aircraft, the Boeing 777-300ER, to Sydney, will provide another world-class travel experience from our key gateway at LAX.”

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